Thursday, April 12, 2012

Anticipating Tuesday

The agenda for next T
uesday's Costa Mesa City Council meeting was released earlier today. As it's presently concocted it shows some interesting items, none of which are another end run to put Jim Righeimer's Charter on the June ballot. However, there's still time, so don't blink. The Closed Session begins at 5:00 and the regular meeting begins at 6:00 - depending on how briskly they move through the Closed Session. You can read the agenda HERE.

Of interest is
the fact that there are four (4) items scheduled for the closed session portion. As has been the case for months, one item is a conference with CEO Tom Hatch on labor negotiations. The remaining three are - no surprise here - all dealing with existing or anticipated litigation. Lawyers all over Southern California are smiling a lot these days.

The Consent Calendar - those items that would normally just be voted upo
n as a group - contain some interesting pearls. For example, the "Reading Folder" contains two requests for Alcohol Beverage Control licenses. One for the old Marie Callendar's in the 300 block of East 17th Street and the other is for Skosh Monahan's gin joint. I wonder what that one's all about? There have been rumors about a change of ownership - that maybe Monahan found a mountain of cash and bought out his partners recently - but we don't know. We have only enough information to raise more questions. Maybe Monahan will tell us about it Tuesday. Yeah, right!

There are two Warrants for our review, #2415, HERE and #2416, HERE. The latter has some good scoop for you. We have paid Jones & Mayer - our contract City Attorney outfit - $120,637.20 this time around - up by a significant amount from the previous month. We continue to rack up legal fees with them, alone, that nearly double the budget. There is also a charge from Liebert Cassidy Whitmore for almost $18,000 for personnel help. More on that outfit later...

There are two items authorizing agreements with the 32 Agriculture District - the Orange County Fair Board - for Traffic Management Services. The first one, HERE, is for an amount not to exceed $380,000 for the Fair itself. The second one is for an amount not to exceed $70,000 for "interim events" for the twelve months beginning April 1, 2012, HERE. Both represent costs to cover police services - one of the things this council conveniently forgets when they're yapping about overtime. Our police provide the protection - usually using overtime - and the Fair Board pays the bill. It DOES NOT come out of the General Fund budget.

The 7th item on the Consent Calendar is an agreement with the aforementioned Liebert Cassidy Whitmore for "special legal services pertaining to employment relations matters." This is another of this councils open-ended legal deals where we may pay up to $300 per hour for lawyers and $1.40 per hour for paralegal services - with no cap on the charges. Read about it HERE. Oh, yes - we're also going to pay $.15 per page to make copies and $.50 per page for faxes! And, even better, this deal is backdated to January 13th, 2012! How does that kind of thing happen?

Near the end of the Consent Calendar is an item requesting the council approve t
he paperwork necessary to receive the final grant funds for the Fairview Channel Multipurpose Trail, which is scheduled to be completed in August, 2012, HERE. The City received a grant for $500,000 and contributed another $321,000 of Park Development Funds for this project.

There are two public hearings presently scheduled. The first deals with the Target Store's request for holiday hour changes, HERE. You may recall the hub-bub caused at the end of last year on this issue. Neighbors brought this to the council because they felt the conditions of approval for the operations of the store had been intentionally, arrogantly violated. Having heard all the hearings on this, I agree. We'll see what the council does with this one.

The second is an amendment to the Master Plan for what used to be the 1901 Newport Plaza development. It was supposed to be 140 condos, including some affor
dable units. Now, under new ownership, it's 113 rental units. You can read the lengthy staff report and attachments HERE.

There is one item of Old Busines
s - Steve Mensinger's scheme for the implementation of an annual performance audit process. You can read that staff report HERE. Assistant CEO Rick Francis is the honcho on this project, so it will be the first time for most of us to see him in action. I read the staff report and got a smile from one segment - the one that says:
"1- Does the entity have clearly stated goals and objectives that are SMART (specif
ic, measurable, attainable, relevant and time-bound) in nature?"


Now, I'm a guy that loves acronyms, so that "SMART" thing made me smile. I found myself wondering how long it took them to come up with it. AMEN! (Another Mensinger Expendable Notion)

Under New Business we find a new ordinance to prohibit sex offenders from entering parks and sports facilities. HERE. This is a great idea, especially considering the number of people so-designated that live in our city. See the California Megan's Law link on the right side of this page.


The final item on the agenda will make a lot of people in this city happy. The brief staff report,
HERE, explains with insufficient detail that the staff recommends the rescission of all layoff notices given to members of the Costa Mesa Fire Department - both sworn and non-sworn. This will be around 100 staffers who will have that dark cloud removed from above their heads.

What's this all about, you ask? Well, Interim Fire Chief Tom Arnold, utilizing his more than 3 decades of fire department management experience, has been working for months on a reorganization plan for the Costa Mesa Fire Department and is just about ready to present it formally to the City Council - either at a Study Session or at a council meeting in the VERY near future. He's been working closely with bargaining unit president Tim Vasin. I hope this plan results in less highly-charged rhetoric and a more conciliatory relationship between the firefighters and the City Council. Frankly, it's kind of hard to trust this council when Jim Righeimer frequently rants about waiting until 2014, when the current contracts expire, at which time he will take care of them! I'm keeping a positive thought about this one.


And, so you know, much progress has been made with the remainder of the so-called outsourcing RFPs. You can see that progress on this chart, HERE. You'll notice that several of those items will be discussed at council meetings during May and June. Those discussions should be interesting because the injunction imposed by Judge Barbara Tam Nomoto Schumann is still in place. We'll see.

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Anonymous joe said...

i like riggy's stance towards firefighters, let them know hardball is coming so negotiate something good for taxpayers. 3@50 unsustainable, help fix it. also, labor negotiators hired from outside are a great idea, newport beach does it with results. no more of the days gping up against union in negotiations and losing. and don't tell me it is only helen and billy that negotiate for unions

4/12/2012 07:20:00 PM  
Anonymous Judy Lindsay said...


4/12/2012 09:17:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

One correct thing my imposter said is that Riggy's stance is AGAINST the firefighters. He's also AGAINST CMPD.

Which is what I've been saying all along. LOL! Gee Riggmarshal, it looks like you need to get some new ponyboys. Some that actually HELP you instead of tipping your hand! And this should include those who know how to imposter- post without getting their IP addresses harvested.

You're not only incompetent as a city council person, you're incompetent at internet impostering. hahaha!

If the "Joe" at the top of the post isn't in blue, then it's not the authentic me.

4/12/2012 11:35:00 PM  
Anonymous Bluer than Joe said...

Crazy Joe cannot separate concerns on operations and choices from the individual.

I thought Joe was a man, but maybe his parents gave him a boy name, he is really a girl, and his brother is named Sue?

Riggy is concerned with minimized staffing . 4 on a truck costs CM something like $4 million a year. Other cities have reserves. FF's to pay full employee share for pensions. Why does so much equipment roll, with so much personnel when anothet model will keep safety high, yet lower costs.

Only wives and unions think critical process of asking tough questions means one does not love them. Instead of recognizing the process in required for high safety, within costs, for future.

And allows for investments in infrastructure.

With FF layoff notices rescinded, doesn't this start to prove that the emotion driven logic "stirred" by Council Haters is much to do about nothing? That the process has been a good one over time. And will actually result in few lay offs?

Naaa, didn't think so. Haters hate. Can't blame a skunk for stinking ....

4/13/2012 08:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Tell me more, Joe! said...

Joe, so you, as a commenter, can harvest other commenter IP addresses? Fascinating! Tell me how!

4/13/2012 09:04:00 AM  
Anonymous Solve it then they have nuttin said...

Fake Joe no it doesn't . If they were really concerned about the things you say and especially the individual then they sit down with the groups and hash out a better deal. Since this isn't really about any of what you or they say they can't allow the real solutions to happen through bargaining. If they did sit down with the groups and solve the problems they don't get what they and the puppet masters really want. No Union money going to Democrats. That is what Riggy has been about since he lost 2 efforts to get elected to OC School Board. He has blamed and hated Unions ever since. Do a little research. Its all there. Even an appearance in front of a congressional hearing where some Congressional Member questions Riggy's honesty over the matter.

4/13/2012 09:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Tank said...

Bluer than Joe-- any other model for fire protection is still going to require multiple pieces of equipment. There is no way around it. Take a look at every other City anf F.D. in Orange County, there are at least 2 pieces of apparatus that respond on every medical aid. If you know something different let us know.

4/13/2012 09:12:00 AM  
Anonymous More will vote in Nov. said...

Bruce took an innocent comment and turned it into some bogus soapbox. Read his own blog he takes up the issue there too.

My comments were not about haters or anything else other than pointing out the pure hypocrisy in Bruce Krochman's comments to the lady he questioned about her purely innocent mistaken choice of the phrase voters get more opportunity to vote. Anyone should have been able to figure out what she meant. And yet when the other side which Bruce says he is not on says with pure venom attached that they stole the right of voters he not only at first ignores that but he then defends the venom as Political Hyperbole. So an innocent mistaken choice of words is attacked and a mean spirited meant to falsely portray an action is defended by Bruce. if that is true middle ground for Bruce he is not on any middle ground I know. Bruce maybe a nice guy and I could care less about his Facebook friends its his actions and his choices of comments I look at.

4/13/2012 09:32:00 AM  
Anonymous almostdone said...

Dumbass Joe doesn't think 4 on a truck is right. He says "other cities have reserves".
Really? Which cities comparable to CM do that in place of full time FFs? Do you even know which of the equipment is a "truck"?
Dumbass Joe asks why so much equipment rolls when "another Model will keep safety high".
Which model is that? The one where one unit rolls out to see if more is needed and then frantically calls for help when it turns out to be more than they can handle? I think his house should be the first to experience that "model".
I suspect that Dumbass Joe is actually Righeimer. This kind of stuff sounds like his brand of ignorance.

4/13/2012 10:24:00 AM  
Anonymous Joe in numbers said...

Slow day at the fire house boys? Sorry you won't be going to OCFA. Once the anger subsides, perhaps a long term restructuring can occur.

4/13/2012 11:23:00 AM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...

Our unethical, unskilled and incompetent city coun-sell has taken quite a beating of late. I'm wondering when the Daily Plot will print another hate piece written by Colon or the chest bumper or whoever trying to distract the public by pointing fingers at whichever employee group they decide to demonize that day. Or maybe it's time for another phony vandalism complaint to be front page news ?

4/13/2012 11:29:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

joe impostor at the top....So professional labor negotiators worked well for Newport Beach. Well, let's see. Newport Beach cops earn around $700 more per month than do Costa Mesa cops. On second thought, you are correct, bring those labor negotiators to Costa Mesa. In fact, bring two, or three or four.

Joe in you are against the OCFA proposal that would have saved over $1,000,000 per year for the city? Hummmmm. Very telling.

4/13/2012 12:25:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe Sure Knows How To Blow said...

Hey Joe in the numbers, why would you think that firefighters are angry about not going to the OCFA?

4/13/2012 12:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Weeeeee said...

Angry White Man

I am thrilled to see you believing your own press regarding a thumping.

Stay Angry my old friend.

You have no idea what is coming, do you?

Why do you think Geoff has not written about any anti Council candidates? Or the Unions have had no Recall? Or the Union Cancel the Payoffs, we mean Layoff signs are all but gone?

The only Cancel signs we see are at the most dilapidated properties. Nice company you keep.

Just, please, keep thinking you are winning. Focus your anger here.

Off for the weekend.

4/13/2012 12:45:00 PM  
Blogger Gericault said...

4/13/2012 01:52:00 PM  
Anonymous Quotron said...

Dear Bruce Krochman:

"Dante once said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality”

4/13/2012 02:13:00 PM  
Anonymous Hadenuf said...

I love when these commenters get on and post about how public safety "models" should be handled...and prey tell, exactly what are those commenters public safety experiences?

For those that think minimum staffing is about securing overtime for "greedy union thug members" let me assure you...I would rather have that time with my family. The shift work, long hours and missed events are bad enough on regular time. No one wants to get drafted in the last hour of their shift, yet it happens frequently.

Minimum staffing is there to insure a certain level of safety - safety for the residents and especially safety for those working. For the PD it varies based upon day, time and service demands.

In two residential fires in the middle of the night that I have been involved with this year, the PD can generally arrive first. PD helps to assess, provides evacuation and traffic/scene control. On the recent fire on San Clemente Drive, PD arrived first and evacuated 16 apartments (all same building on fire). One of these apartments alone required 4 officers to evacuate a child, a blind person and a 300+ lb. disabled person.

Because of the way the PD and FD work together, in both instances, there was no loss of life or injury and property damage was very limited. This is accomplished by the teamwork of those involved and minimum manning standards to insure quick response and safety for all involved.

CMFA Pres. Vasin already commented that the reason OCFA can go with 3 on a rig and lower minimum staffing is because OCFA can pull additional resources from other nearby stations if needed. On a fire, each of those guys has a job. To accomplish the same thing with 3 on a rig would likely mean having to roll out more rigs and thus requiring more time to do so. Time is of the essence in these situations. Appears to me that our Fire guys and Fire model appear to be doing something right when I see what they're able to quickly accomplish during these incidents.

4/13/2012 02:18:00 PM  
Anonymous almostdone said...

Since Joe Righeimer brought it up here, let's expose something that is apparently going to be a part of his future plan.... "Reserves".

If the charter is passed and he's still 'in power' after november, his plan is to fill public safety positions in Costa Mesa with these magical part time employees that will work for next to nothing.

So... who are these people and where do they come from?

First... experienced police officers and fire fighters are already employed and do not need (or want) to come to Costa Mesa to work a part time job.
The ones that aren't are called wannabes.

They may be security guards and neighborhood watch wannabes or they may just be young and putting themselves through the required accadamy training and will be looking for professional jobs (if they don't already have one) when they get out.

At best, the qualified canadates would be available to do something like this briefly as they test and then hire on for real careers with other depts.

Then there are the ones that have completed that basic training and have not been able to get a job with another dept because they haven't had what it takes to get that done.

THEN.. there is the last catagory... the ones who have not passed their probationary period with a previous employer and have been let go due to unacceptable performance, to join the ranks of the wannabes again.

Many of these people are just simply not suitable for the job and that is why they are not currently employeed.

So... what does this mean?

It means that these people will be given the opportunity to work as fire fighters (and even worse) police officers in Costa Mesa, and public safety here will be the absolute bottom of the barrel. The least experienced and least desirable will be here to help and serve you and the current employees will have to try to train and oversee their work.

Something else to think about.... new hires in these positions normally require an extensive training/probationary period of a year or more.
How is this going to be done when they are working part time? What kind of standards are going to be maintained considering the city will be financially responsible for the decisions they make and actions they take on the job?

I don't know. Do you? Does this sound good? Is this all ok?

If it is, vote to keep Riggy in power and vote for the charter so he can do whatever he wants.

If not then vote his power base out and replace them with someone who will work with the current public safety people to address the cost issues like they have offered to do and fix what you've got.

Your choice in November.

4/13/2012 02:53:00 PM  
Blogger Joe said...

Hadenuf said...
"I love when these commenters get on and post about how public safety "models" should be handled...and prey tell, exactly what are those commenters public safety experiences?"


They're not real "commenters," merely propaganda writers for Das Riggmarshal.

Thank you CMFD and CMPD for all you do for us.

4/13/2012 03:11:00 PM  
Blogger The Pot Stirrer said...

Ditto that...

4/13/2012 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Bruce Krochman said...

Dear quotron,

I completely agree with President Kennedy and I am in full support of using the Peace Corps as a component of our foreign aid policies to deter the growth of communism in famine plagued areas of the world.

If you find any other moral crisis you would like to test my neutrality on, please let me know!

4/13/2012 05:41:00 PM  
Anonymous Joe in Red said...

Clearly some are back from the grocery store , done lifting weights , or up from the nap. Nice to hear from all y'all.

The message has not changed.

So, who ya gonna support in the next
election? Who will vote your FF line?

And, I support the Peace Corps.

Tax payer propaganda, bad.

FF propaganda, good. Just sale Joe in Blue

4/13/2012 08:06:00 PM  
Anonymous Cliff's Notes said...

Let's see, cities and states are going broke. Most blame pensions for public safety as the cause and say reform needed. Even weathervane Wendy. Riggy campaigns on changing pensions, very upfront about it. Public safety mounts huge campaign against Riggy. Riggy wins anyway, top vote getter. Per union contract, pink slips given. Hysteria breaks out, one commits suicide. Riggy is blamed for this. Mob rule becomes commonplace at council meetings. Council clearly states that the employees are not to blame, they just outnegotiated past councils and this council wants to outnegotiate them. Council then accused of vilifying employees and even though council corrects this and says they don't blame employees, the statement is made over and over. Council says again they don't blame employees. Mob says stop vilifying. Charter idea comes up, clerk blows it.
Of course, blame council for clerks action, how convenient. Council spends monies on infrastructure, mob does not like, could go to pensions. Mob sues city over and over and council responds to lawsuits. Mob criticizes spending money on lawyers but sues anyway. Mob wants limit on what monies city spends on lawyers so they know at what point they win. Council realizes not good to put a cap on your defense. Mob criticizes council. On and on and on. Meanwhile, city is doing OK! Council is doing good job. Council is Republican conservative so liberal dems and rinos, hungering for a fight over everything, put city under a microscope looking for anything to gripe on and then act like their next discovery is huge and then come 30 comments in blogs making fun of council members and weird derivatives of their names. But mob has no viable candidate for election to council so their only recourse is to criticize, never have their own vision or ideas, just hate anything council does. Meanwhile, city doing great under current leadership. Oh yeah, cops and firemen know they will be having to leave or tighten their belts in two years but so what?

4/14/2012 07:24:00 AM  
Blogger Angry White Man said...


I stand by my comment about your coun-sell and their record.

How many court cases have your million dollar attorneys won ?

Oh guys are winning ?
and I will stay angry until this corrupt band of idiots is gone and my city can be run efficiently.
stay delusional my enemy

4/14/2012 08:02:00 AM  
Anonymous Wyatt Earp said...

Cliff's notes...Are you high on the OCGOP Kool-Aid again? one need only look at the recent spat Rig started with the firefighters over OT. Rig clearly blamed the FF's for the OT bill. When the truth finally did come out, it was clearly the result of council decisions based on recommendations from the Fire Chief and city staff. This current council then decided to leave open 9 positions resulting in mandatory OT. I will let the folks decide whether that was intentional to start just such a fight. Vasin came along and clearly showed with dates, times and facts that it was not the FF's fault. And you have the guts to come along and say this council has not blamed employees nor villified them? Keep trying. I love coming on here and correcting you folks.

Further, despite your comments to the contrary, there has been significant pension reform in CM. General employees pay their entire cost, the cops pay 5% and were one of the first, if not the first in OC to do so. The FF's were paying 5% until your unfab four chose to ignore their offer to continue to pay that while continuing to negotiate longer term savings. Your unfab four refused and tried to in vain to blame the FF's. Again, they lost when the facts came out. Please, I'm begging you to keep it up. There is nothing like shredding you guys with facts.

And don't fret Angels fans. Remember in 2002 they were terrible through mid-May and they went on to win the World Series.

4/14/2012 10:58:00 AM  
Anonymous self serving agenda said...

Skosh Monahan's liqour license, before this council,maybe why Monahan resign as mayor.
I think the guy in huntington still owns the building.
Momahan gets his pub,mensin gets his sports fields,beve gets screwed, wendy gets a partridge in a pear tree and riggy is left charterless.
Don't forget to pay your taxes

4/14/2012 11:10:00 AM  
Anonymous Gary is doing nothing said...

Gary steps down and let's Bever take the Mayor spot, cuz Gary is running for re-election and can't rock the boat more than already done. Sure haven't heard much from him since stepping down, and he needs votes. Wonder when he'll make a move to better the City.

4/14/2012 06:26:00 PM  
Anonymous Bell Ringer said...

I think the public is a fool. The City structure is in total chaos. The departments are running; however, will little management and will minimal staffing levels. Many responsibilities are falling through the cracks. (I.E. Dates on Meetings). The staffing levels are so low you have over-worked employees doing the best they can; nevertheless, with staff of contractors will no real ties to the City they could care less if items are missed or deleted. This City needs top-notch managers not contract employees with no real care for the City. Can you see the damage? Maybe or maybe not. However; you will see it when you try to find information and the person at the desk is a temporary or contract.

4/15/2012 06:48:00 AM  
Anonymous What has Steve done? said...

To Gary is doing nothing: not only is Gary doing nothing productive for the City, Steve is equally quite lately. I wonder if he realizes that running with the Rig might be bad for his chance of election to the City Council. Hey Steve remember--you'll need alot more than three votes from your drinking buddies to get that spot on the Council.

4/15/2012 09:08:00 AM  
Anonymous I am not a Sheriff! But I played one at JWA. said...

Mr. Mensinger might have other problems in a campaign. Unfortunately often times when people support someone they overlook or make excuses for a lot of bad things.

The following impersonations class as the offence:

Verbal identification: The imposter announces to the unsuspecting victim that they are a police officer.
Fake Badge or Warrant card: The imposter, though not in any special clothes, displays a police-like badge or identification card to the victim. Sometimes a real police officer will not even be able to differentiate between the real and fake badge, as some duplicates are very, if not exactly alike.

4/15/2012 06:39:00 PM  
Anonymous way overdone said...

Hey almostdone,

How do the 10 reserves currently employed by CMPD feel about your contempt? Are they bottom of the barrell?

You're a piece of work, buddy.

4/18/2012 07:26:00 PM  

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